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THE WILL OF GOD
nity; between the few fleeting years of man's continuance upon earth, and that unchangeable state of blessedness prepared for those that love God in heaven. May the same grace enable us to see the value of redemption: to rejoice in the Saviour's coming, as at this season, to bow the knee at the name of Jesus: to bend the stubborn will to receive his doctrine. May that grace which is sufficient for us, assist all our infirmities and weaknesses, to lead us to the fountain of our Saviour's blood : then we shall walk safely, peaceably, and devoutly in our christian course, until that day when we shall receive the prize of our high calling of God in Christ Jesus. If such be the importance of my subject as it respects Christ Jesus, what a just value does this expression (" in the volume of the book it is written of me") set ") set upon the holy Bible! If Peter was to tell Cornelius words by which he and all his house might be saved, what does not this book tell to the humble inquirer after truth? It tells him everything which he can wish to know for his comfort and edification. Other branches of information have their use for
a certain time, but they all perish in the using; whilst the Scriptures, like their divine Author, are the same yesterday, today, and for ever; they never fail, they never wax old: they need no change : God speaks in them: let man listen, and let man obey! They will in every age stand for the fall and rising of many: I mean, they will condemn the impenitent in the day of judgment out of his own mouth, and they will prove the faith of the godly. By them we shall be judged: let us read them, let us hear them now: and may He who alone has power to break the seals and open the book, give us wisdom and knowledge to walk in his footsteps, and do the will of God. Amen.
THE LAMB OF GOD.
ST. JOHN i. 29.
Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
WHEN a desperate malady has for a long period of years been wasting a once sound constitution, it is no ordinary favour to be directed to a sovereign remedy which has never failed to effect a cure. Such a remedy, in a spiritual sense, is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It offers health to the sick, and is, in the hands of the great Physician, the means of restoring the dead in trespasses and sins, to life and joy and comfort. Daily experience teaches us that the body of man
is, in its present state, gradually tending to decay, it finds a temporary relief from the skill of others, but nothing can extend life beyond a certain period. The covenant from the beginning is, "Thou shalt surely die. Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. There are few who do not hear at some moment of their lives a monitory voice saying, "Set thine house in order, for thou shalt die, and not live."
But the soul shall never cease to exist, that divine lamp can never be extinguished; the soul is immortal, immaterial, imperishable. In a state of happiness or misery it must live for ever. It has indeed contracted a deep stain by Adam's sin. From innocence and perfection, it has sunk into pollution and sin. The will and the affections are turned from heaven to earth, and need the Holy Spirit of God to raise them again to heavenly objects. But this, the Spirit, purchased by the death of Christ, will effect. In our lowest state of debasement there is a friend, who has humbled himself to raise us again to our forfeited possessions; his name was called Jesus, because he should save his people from their
To him we look for pardon and acceptance. To his atoning sacrifice we direct the eye of penitence. We say, without fear of disappointment, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world."
As the wisdom of Almighty God has seen fit to provide but one way of salvation for a lost world, it behoves every man who values his immortal soul to consider whether he has been brought to an experimental acquaintance with it. On this subject, above all others, a mistake may be productive of the most fatal consequences. Now, the good Spirit of God, who came to lead the disciples of Jesus Christ into all truth, is pleased to direct us in the road to heaven. The language of inspiration is, "This is the way, walk ye in it." But the hour is coming, when it will be too late to make inquiry into the plan of salvation, too late to knock when the door is shut, and too late to cry for mercy when it is the time for judgment. Let us then examine the words of the text with that spirit of serious inquiry which they so justly demand.